Welcome to the University of Queensland Physics Museum Microscope Audio Tour.

This tour will take you through a tour of ten microscopes. The microscope display is located in a cabinet on the first floor of the Parnell Building. The main office of the UQ Physics Museum is located just inside the main entrance of the Parnell Building on the second floor. To reach the microscope display from the museum, walk away from the main entrance along the corridor next to the museum. At the end of the corridor there is a flight of stairs that lead down to the first floor. When you exit the stairs, continue straight ahead down the hallway. The microscope display is located at the end of this hallway on the left hand side.

A microscope is an optical instrument which allows scientists to view objects that are too small to be resolved by the human eye by magnifying them. Various techniques for magnifying objects has existed for thousands of years. Around 2000 BCE Chinese scientists used tubes of water to view small objects. However the creator of the first glass microscope is somewhat disputed. Many scientists believe that the first compound microscope was created in the 1590’s by two Dutch spectacle makers, Zacharias Jansen and his father Hans.

Microscopes are now crucial to scientific discovery, and their uses extend through all disciplines of science – from the discovery of bacteria, to crystalline structures, to the electron.  This tour will discuss some of these uses.

The links below will take you through the microscopes on display, from the replica Leeuwenhoek magnifier, to the 1960 Leitz projection microscope. Each webpage contains a transcript of the audio guide, photographs and links to further related material.






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